Algerian Arms Deal Brings Russia $7.5 billion, Gas Market Leverage
September 14/15: Algeria is ordering an additional fourteen Su-30MKI multirole fighters from Russia to supplement the 44 already in service with the Algerian Air Force. Algeria is an important export customer for the Russian defense industry, with the North African country ordering a significant number of attack and transport helicopters last June. The Indian Air Force also operates the Su-30MKI, with the IAF suffering a high crash rate among its fleet in recent months. This latest deal is thought to value approximately $420 million, with deliveries expected between 2016 and 2017.
A February 2006 report noted that a $4 billion arms sale was brewing between Algeria and Russia involving fighter aircraft, tanks, and air defense systems, with the possibility of additional equipment. Those options came through the following month, as a high-level Russian delegation in Algeria closed up to $7.5 billion worth of arms contracts. The Algerian package remains post-Soviet Russia’s largest single arms deal. As an instructive comparison, annual Russian weapons export orders from all customers were just $5-6 billion per year in 2004 and 2005.
Reuters South Africa quoted Rosoboronexport chief Sergei Chemezov as saying that “Practically all types of arms which we have are included, anti-missile systems, aviation, sea and land technology.” The actual contents of that deal were murky, though DID offers triangulation among several sources to help sort out the confusion. A number of these deals have evolved over time, and other public-source information has helped to sharpen the picture a bit. The subsequent crash of Algeria’s MiG-29 deal, and its ripple effects, are also discussed.
The Algerian Package: What’s the Big Deal?
Structuring the Deal: Anatomy of a Euro-Squeeze
Contracts and Key Events
2010 – 2014
2006 – 2009
Appendix A: Algeria’s Appetite for Advanced Arms
Appendix B: Russia’s Arms Industry Woes
Appendix C: Additional Readings & Sources
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